Everything you need to know about today’s media coverage of Israel and the Mideast.
Palestinians appear restless to confront either their leaders or Israel. Journalist fired for calling Israel’s occupation brutal. And a newspaper correction puts a little-known twist on the Osirak precedent.
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Israel and the Palestinians
• Marwan Barghouti joins the UN/GMJ/PLO dog-pile on Israel. Haaretz describes the Tanzim militia leader’s missive from prison calling for “popular resistance against Israel,” including an end to PA security and economic cooperation, diplomatic and economic boycotts, and a plug for unilateral statehood via the UN.
• Ynet reports of Palestinian efforts on Facebook to organize a general strike in Gaza to protest Hamas and Fatah handling of the fuel crisis.
• Karin Brulliard of the Washington Post examines the PA’s plummeting popularity in the West Bank:
In the West Bank, where a construction boom has slowed and unemployment is high, discontent has centered on the Palestinian Authority leadership, including the technocrat prime minister, Salam Fayyad, who introduced tax increases and other austerity measures. Analysts say those steps have contributed to plunging approval ratings for Fayyad and President Mahmoud Abbas.
Anger over the measures has combined with long-standing criticism that Fayyad’s strategy of building institutions and improving law and order — widely viewed as successful — have not moved the Palestinians closer to statehood. A bid for recognition at the United Nations is stalled, plans to reconcile the two main Palestinian political factions appear frozen, peace talks with Israel have crumbled, and the Obama administration is not publicly pushing the issue.
• While we’re on the topic of the fuel crisis, AP reporter Diaa Hadid posted the Tweet of the Day about AP retracting a story because of a Hamas lie. Added bonus: clicking on the tweet brings up Hadid’s amusing exchange with fact-checker par-excellence Richard Silverstein.
• Earlier today, I tied together a few of the above pieces to make some sense of it all: The Palestinian Spring: A Sobering Look.
• The PA and Egypt signed intended to end Gaza’s energy crisis — until the next energy crisis. Israel had nothing to do with this; yet, as Maan News describes it, thoses Zionists are always the elephant in the room:
The latest crisis began after Egypt cracked down on tunnels smuggling fuel into Gaza. Egypt, which is also experiencing fuel shortages, urged Hamas to import fuel across its border with Israel.
Hamas refused, citing concerns that Israel would then have the power to block supplies. Meanwhile, Cairo was reluctant to transfer fuel through the Rafah crossing over fears it would exempt Israel from its responsibilities as an occupying power.
• Eye on the UN presents an afternoon at the UN Human Rights Council.
• By quirk or coincidence, I happened to read the following two commentaries back to back. The contrast is stunning, considering the friendly one was printed in a Malaysian newspaper.
• Here’s another example of Comment is Free’s cheap talk devaluing the power of language. Sarah Colborne writes:
Yet Palestinians – both Christian and Muslim – are being driven out of Jerusalem. Just one example of this ethnic cleansing is taking place in Silwan, where 1,000 residents are facing imminent eviction as their homes make way for the King David tourist park.
Message to Sarah: Palestinian squatters on property that doesn’t belong to them have due process in Israeli courts. If it’s the scale that disturbs you, then deal with the reality that Palestinians occupying state-owned land in eastern Jerusalem is widespread. Or, channel your outrage at “ethnic cleansing” in Spain (averaging 200 evictions/day) and Nigeria (20,000 people may be displaced for a waterfront project).